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SoxProspects News

June 6, 2016 at 1:35 PM

Weekly Notes: Sox search for pitching answers as draft looms

Here are this week's minor league notes:
  • Draft Week is here and SoxProspects.com will have you covered wall to wall with all the latest news regarding who the Red Sox will take starting with the No. 12 pick overall in the first round on Thursday. Senior Staff Writer Will Woodward wrote a preview for what to expect from the Red Sox in the draft.
  • Episode 97 of the SoxProspects.com podcast came out this week and the guys broke down the latest rankings of the prospects for the month of June. They also discuss recent significant injuries, Josh Ockimey's (pictured) hot start to 2016 and more.
  • Matt Huegel interviewed Pawtucket pitcher Aaron Wilkerson and discussed his unlikely rise to Triple-A. Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014 after playing in independent ball for two years, Wilkerson posted a 1.83 ERA in eight starts with 48 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings for Portland before being promoted.
  • Pawtucket Red Sox, city, and Rhode Island state officials sent out a joint press release on Monday announcing that they are seeking qualified firms to study 74-year-old McCoy Stadium. The study, which is expected to take several months to complete, will include an evaluation of the existing conditions of McCoy Stadium and the surrounding area, a survey of the state of the art and current trends in professional ballparks, a comprehensive list of necessary repairs and improvements, and a final report detailing the cost and preferred design of the improved ballpark, according to the release.
  • The Red Sox announced several roster moves, promoting three minor leaguers due to the injuries sustained by Ryan Hanigan and Blake Swihart. Catcher Sandy Leon, outfielder Rusney Castillo and pitcher Heath Hembree were all promoted to Boston. Noe Ramirez was sent down to Pawtucket in a corresponding move for Hembree. Ramirez was briefly promoted after Joe Kelly was demoted to Triple-A.
  • John Farrell noted that when Swihart and Hanigan went down in the same game, Marco Hernandez was given a "crash course" in catching and was the team's backup catcher until Leon's promotion, according to the Boston Herald.
  • Ian Browne of MLB.com also previewed the Red Sox's draft plans, suggesting they will focus on pitching early on.
  • Bill Ballou of the Providence Journal wrote that for now the Red Sox are searching for homegrown pitching solutions, but that may not be the answer in the long run this season.
  • On the note of bullpen solutions, Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com theorized that the Red Sox could potentially draft a pitcher that could have an impact on the bullpen this season.
  • Hannable also wrote that he feels it's too soon for Yoan Moncada to be promoted to Double-A and that fans shouldn't compare his progress to that of Andrew Benintendi.
  • Jason Mastrodano of the Boston Herald chatted with Rusney Castillo before his promotion, as a result of Swihart's injury, as to whether he was frustrated about not playing in the majors.
  • Yoan Moncada was named to Baseball America's All-Prospect Team for the month of May. The publication credited Moncada's secondary skills of getting on base with 19 walks, 13 extra-base hits, and 15 stolen bases.
Players of the Week 5/30-6/5

5 G, 19 AB, 1R, 10 H, 3 2B, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, .526/.571/.684

Court has been a pleasant surprise for the Sea Dogs, tied for second on the team in hitting with a .311 season average. Court signed as a minor league free agent on May 2 after being released by the Diamondbacks in March. He has played in 27 games so far for Portland, mostly at third base. The 28-year-old right-handed hitter was drafted by Arizona in the 23rd round of the 2011 draft.

2 G, 7 IP, 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K, 0.86 WHIP

Alcantara (pictured) has been a solid option out of the bullpen for Salem, racking up a 5-0 record with a 2.52 ERA in 35 2/3 innings pitched this season. He picked up the win in Salem's come-from-behind, walk-off victory against Lynchburg on Saturday, after fanning seven of the 12 batters he faced against the same team on May 30.

Photo Credits: Josh Ockimey and Mario Alcantara by Kelly O'Connor